BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics will aggressively pursue signing Gordon Hayward in free agency and landing Paul George in a trade with the Indiana Pacers, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
And it looks like Adam Kaufman was onto something this weekend.
Kaufman reported that he was “hearing” the Celtics were working on acquiring George with a three-year contract extension in place, under the condition that the Celtics also sign Hayward.
On Tuesday, Wojnarowski — the most respected and accurate reporter in basketball — confirmed essentially the same story.
“For salary-cap purposes, Boston wants a Hayward commitment before it can finalize a trade for George and secure the most dynamic free-agent coup in franchise history,” Wojnarowski wrote.
Wojnarowski said that the Celtics have a growing confidence” that they could get George to sign a contract extension instead of becoming a free agent following the 2017-18 season.
The Pacers’ search for the best available deal could delay the process and perhaps disrupt the Celtics’ plans entirely, according to Wojnarowksi. The Celtics and Pacers were close to a deal on draft night, according to Wojnarowski, but a third team involved ended up causing a breakdown.
Wojnarowski also noted that if the Celtics cannot acquire Hayward, there are plans in place to pursue Blake Griffin and still trade for George.